Joey Hanssen the driver of the Prime Champ Dodge Avenger in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series recently celebrated his eighteenth birthday. He delivered himself a birthday present in round number four at the Autodrome St. Eustache with the first series top-ten finish.

After rain delayed the race until Sunday afternoon Hanssen would roll off from twentieth position for the 250 lap main event. The Prime Champ driver would once again take the methodical and consistent approach in his race strategy. “The car was really good and handling just the way I wanted it” said the driver. Hanssen would move slowly up through the field and soon was running just outside the top-ten.

As the race moved through the mid point and Hanssen made his scheduled stops for fuel Hanssen would continue to run toward the front of the field though he had gone a lap down. Just past the half way mark he would regain his lap through the NASCAR free pass rule and not relinquish it for the duration of the race.

Later in the race the cars handling would deteriorate. “After our pit stop the cars was not as I wanted it be” said Hanssen but it was still okay. In the late stages of the race Hanssen would face another serious obstacle as several competitors ahead of him collided. “We had a few problems about three quarters through the race when all three cars came together and I couldn’t avoid it. I got into a few people. I don’t know who I hit but it was messy back there” he joked.

The Prime Champ Dodge would suffer cosmetic damage to the front of the car and during several pit stops the crew would do make repairs and keep Hanssen in the fight. Joey would continue to run as hard as he was able to the checkered flag and be rewarded with a tenth place finish. “I thought we might be done because the radiator was bent but they guys did a good job and we continued. It’s a good result and I’m happy with that” he stated.

With the first top-ten result of the season Hanssen is pleased with how the Prime Champ team has progressed in a short period of time. “We’ve made a lot of progress with the team, the chassis adjustments, the learning process is pretty much on its way now. I know how the car reacts better to the changes. We’ll run more consistently and be fine for the rest of the year” he added.

The 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season now heads to western Canada for three events beginning Saturday July 18th at Sun Valley Speedway near Vernon, BC. This years schedule will consist of thirteen races on ovals, road courses and temporary street circuits from coast to coast in Canada. All thirteen races will be seen on TSN. For more information about Joey Hanssen the NASCAR Canadian Tire series go to